igus is promoting the e-loop energy chain that was launched earlier this year. Replacing conventional service loops for top drive systems on drilling rigs, the e-loop provides safe cable management even in adverse weather conditions. It also provides protection from shock and vibration. The modular system, which is made of high-performance plastics, ensures a defined minimum bend radius of the cables and provides strain relief.
In addition to use on deep drilling rigs, the corrosion-resistant e-loop is suitable for a range of suspended applications in the offshore industry, as well as construction machinery, shore power and wind turbines.
Justin Leonard, the e-chain director at igus UK, comments: "Up to now, manufacturers and operators have relied on service loops for the cable and hose feed on top drive systems. However, these often have problems: the cables have no guide, no defined bend radius, can move in the service loop and, in the worst case, break."
In extreme wind conditions, the loosely hanging service loop can snag in the mast or on the sensors and the lighting system and break off. If a cable is damaged, the complete hose package may need replacing.
The e-loop is a round, three-dimensional modular system that can move cables with a defined bend radius, prevents snagging and provides strain relief.
When developing the e-loop, the igus engineers focused on ease of installation. The modular energy chain can be opened from the outside and filled at any time. This enables individual cables or hoses to be installed or replaced quickly during maintenance. The e-loop links can also be changed at any time. Multiple-secured screw connections are used between the chain links to prevent components from falling, thereby increasing operational safety.
The chain links feature an impact-resistant outer body attachment (bumper) made of high-density PU (polyurethane) foam and a cable-friendly interior made of high-performance igumid material. Both materials are corrosion-free and resistant to chemicals. In addition, the e-loop is constructed around a high-tensile synthetic rope that carries the tensile loads. The rope consists of a synthetic plastic fibre, which is 'unbreakable', weather-resistant, flexible and corrosion-free. The e-loop can carry weights of up to 220kN and itself adds very little to the mass of the cables and hoses.
igus has produced a short video to highlight the features and benefits of the e-loop modular energy chain.